Opportunities have been few and far between for Anthony Ralston this season – but you won’t catch him grumbling about it.

It cannot have been easy to watch Josip Juranovic vacate the right-back berth, only for it to be immediately filled by Alistair Johnston. The academy graduate has been a selfless servant to Celtic – and a reinvented one since Ange Postecoglou’s arrival – and was called upon suddenly to replace his injured Canadian colleague at Hampden on Sunday.

Postecoglou has often stressed the importance of carrying a squad robust enough to deal with the rigorous demands of life at Celtic, and without team players like Ralston it would not be possible. The 24-year-old now looks set to take on a more prominent role as the season winds its way to a conclusion – the injury sustained by Johnston in the win over Rangers was described by Postecoglou as ‘significant’.

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But Ralston is adamant he stands ready to step up to the plate as Celtic close in on a domestic treble.

“That’s the mindset of all the players in the squad,” he said. “It’s a big squad and it’s important to know your role when you could be called on at any point.

“My job wasn’t to go on and do anything for myself, it was for the team. That’s drummed right through us. Even the boys that weren’t there on Sunday, they train every day to make us the best we can be.

“I wish Ali all the best with his health and his recovery. We’re not quite sure what it is but the main thing is that he’s all right. If I need to step in and do my job, then I’ll step in and do my job.

“We’ve no other choice. From day one, the gaffer’s message has been that we train every day like we are going to play, and that’s what we all do.

“That’s the reason why boys - on Sunday it was not just myself, but Sead Haksabanovic and Aaron Mooy - can come off the bench and do a job, because we train every day at the highest level.

“We’re in it as a team. Success comes as a team. I thought the boys were terrific overall on Sunday and deserved the win.

“Of course, you want to be playing as much as possible, but the most important thing is the end goal and that end goal is achieved by having a squad, not individuals.

“It’s not about what you want personally, it’s about a squad of boys that want to achieve special things. That’s what we want to do and that’s how we work.

“Me and Josip had a great relationship. If he was in, I would support him and the same the other way round. It’s the same with me and Ali. We’ve got a great relationship as well. I wish him all the best with his health and his recovery and I hope it’s nothing too serious.”

Celtic can clinch the Premiership title on Sunday at the venue where it all started for Postecoglou in Scotland, his fledgling Celtic side were beaten 2-1 by Hearts at Tynecastle in his first-ever match in charge.

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How things have changed since then.

It was Ralston who scored Celtic’s goal on the night, the beginning of what proved to be a stirring renaissance for the defender in green and white. Having been farmed out on unremarkable loans to St Johnstone and Dundee United, Ralston’s Parkhead career appeared to be coming to an end until the new manager arrived, but his unlikely solo effort proved the beginning of a revival.

“That feels like a lifetime ago now,” he admitted. “I closed my eyes and hoped for the best with my left foot! We know it’s a tough place to go, but it’s about us and we’ll go into training and get our heads down. Sunday is done, it’s about next weekend now. We go to work and we aim to go there and win.

“It’s one of our goals to win the title and we’re going to try our best to do that. It starts with the training pitch. We’ll go and implement our things in training to then go and execute it at the weekend.”

Despite reaching the Scottish Cup final, and standing just one step away from being crowned champions for the second year running, you still won’t hear the T word being uttered around Celtic Park just yet.

The odds now feel overwhelmingly in favour of Postecoglou’s team completing a clean sweep of Scotland’s silverware, but Ralston says they will not deviate from their tried and tested strategy of simply dealing with the next challenge.

“We don’t think about it and we haven’t been thinking about it,” he said. “We want to compete in everything we are in - Europe as well - and in everything we do. We strive to do that as a squad.

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“Take it a day at a time like we have been from day one and we’ll hopefully achieve our end goal.

“Either way, you just want to win. It’s how we win it as well. We want to be able to burst through the finish. It’s not a case of letting up at all.”

“Our aim is to play our football. If we can play our football, I’m sure everything will take care of itself.”